THE rail infrastructure in the region has received a huge boost after the Welsh Government announced a multi-million pound upgrade.
Welsh Government transport minister Edwina Hart has announced a £44 million scheme to improve the rail network in North East Wales with an upgrade that will see increased capacity between Wrexham and Chester through the doubling of the current single track lines.
The seven mile stretch of railway will run between Wrexham General and Saltney Junction.
It will enable trains to travel at 90mph in some sections and offers the distinct possibility of increasing the frequency of services along the line.
A dual line ran between the two locations until 1980 when it was reduced to a single track to enable the construction of the A483 bypass.
The £44m scheme has been agreed with Network Rail and is to be delivered by spring 2015.
The scheme will see line speed improvements made and will reduce north to south journey times by up to 16 minutes.
Mrs Hart said: “I am pleased we have been able to agree a scheme that will reduce journey times between North and South Wales and deliver increased capacity between Wrexham and Chester.
“This new scheme will meet our objectives and provide value for money. It will ensure more people in North East Wales will be able to benefit from the improved rail links to the rest of Wales delivered by the Welsh Government.”
Wrexham MP Ian Lucas said: “A major investment like this is a real vote of confidence in Wrexham and will be a further boost to our economy.
“This is a very welcome investment in our local infrastructure.”
Chester MP Stephen Mosley said there had been talk about improving the line for a number of years and he was delighted the improvements were now being made.
He said: “This is fantastic news and hugely welcome.
“Chester’s economy is closely linked with the economy of North Wales and this great investment in railway infrastructure will provide an economic boost.
“There will be significant benefits on both sides of the border and I am sure it will be appreciated by commuters.”